Opus Smart Cards Introduced for Montreal and Quebec Public Transit Systems
Users of public transit in Montreal and throughout Quebec will soon be using smart cards know as "Opus" cards to pay fares. The Opus cards aim to eliminate fare fraud and cut down on lineups at metro station counters. Each smart card contains a rechargeable microchip. Cardholders will be able to charge up their cards with additional funds at recharging machines located in bus and metro stations, and also at certain vendors. When a rider enters a metro station or bus, the card is scanned and the fare is deducted.
Cardholders will also be able to register their Opus card in order to receive a refund if the card is lost or stolen. Opus smart cards will eventually be available at over 700 points of sale across Quebec, including 500 locations in the city of Montreal.
Along with providing riders with a convenient form of payment, the Opus card should help to reduce ticket fraud, something that has become a major problem for the Montreal Transit Commission (MTC). The MTC estimates it loses up to $20 million annually due to ticket fraud. Requiring smart cards should cut down on the number of riders attempting to travel for free.